Chicago - Coke Zero is ushering two new members into the Coca‑Cola Family this fall that exemplify the "enjoy everything" spirit of the brand. Linebacker, Brian Urlacher and Chicago Blackhawks' Alternate Captain and Forward, Patrick Sharp have signed endorsement deals to represent the Coke Zero brand. Urlacher and Sharp join fellow iconic Chicago sports hero, Bulls' Most Valuable Player Derrick Rose, who is sponsored by POWERADE™, to connect the thrill of the game to the power of refreshment.
Starting Sept. 1, new advertisements in Chicago featuring Urlacher will launch in-store and on the radio. Sharp will make his Coke Zero debut in stores across the Chicagoland area later this fall. Promotions featuring both athletes will offer opportunities to win unique sports merchandise. Online, fans will see interactive banner ads, Facebook and Twitter campaign components and more. Fans are encouraged to follow @CokeZero, @BUrlacher54, and @10PSharp for latest Coke Zero news and opportunities to engage with their favorite athletes.
"Joining the Coke Zero team of athletes in Chicago is a great way to connect with my fans on and off the field," said Urlacher. "Since I like drinking Coke Zero this partnership is fun for me. Coca‑Cola is an amazing company, and I am very proud to be a member of the Coke family."
"Coke Zero has always been more than just a brand to me - it exemplifies a frame of mind," said Sharp. "When I hit the ice this fall, I'll be bringing the 'enjoy everything' spirit to my game this season."
"Brian Urlacher and Patrick Sharp are gifted athletes whose talents and personalities resonate with Chicago sports fans on and off the field or rink," said Michael Dulin, Vice President of Commercialization, Coca‑Cola Refreshments. "Since it launched in 2005, Coke Zero has quickly become a consumer favorite and has seen consistently strong growth. Partnering with two of the most relevant and talked about athletes in Chicago sports is a great way to help us continue the momentum for Coke Zero."
Brian Urlacher has a decorated football career. He has been selected to seven career Pro Bowls while registering 1,556 career tackles, the most ever in Chicago football history. In 2005 he was named AP Defensive Player of the Year and finished fourth in voting in 2006. Urlacher also became the second player to be named Defensive Player of the Year (Mike Singletary, 1985, 1988) in franchise history and just the fifth player in NFL history to be named Defensive Rookie of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in their career. He tied for the lead amongst all NFL linebackers with 11 INTs since 2006 and is tied for fourth amongst LBs with 18 INTs since entering the league in 2000.
Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp led the team with 33 goals and a career-high +28 plus/minus rating in the 2011-12 regular season. The 30-year-old alternate captain ranked second on the club with 69 points (33 goals (G), 36 (assists, (A)) and paced all Blackhawks skaters with a career-high eight game-winning goals. The Thunder Bay, Ontario, native has tallied 385 career points (193G, 192A), 377 penalty minutes and a +67 rating in 567 regular-season games over parts of 10 seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers (2002-05) and Blackhawks (2005-12). Sharp has also added 40 points (23G, 17A), 30 penalty minutes and a +6 rating in 64 career postseason contests with the two clubs, including 22 points (11G, 11A) in 22 playoff tilts during the Blackhawks' run to the 2010 Stanley Cup championship. In 2011, he made his National Hockey League All-Star Game debut, registering three points (2G, A) and being honored as Most Valuable Player at the midwinter classic.
The Coca‑Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca‑Cola, the world's most valuable brand, our Company's portfolio features 15 billion dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca‑Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy our beverages at a rate of 1.8 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world's top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system employees. For more information, visit www.coca-colacompany.com, follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/CocaColaCo, or find us on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/the-coca-cola-company.